The stream of life

As Bloom thinks of taking a bath at the end of Lotus Eaters, he inexactly recalls two lines from Maritana, a sentimental light opera from the mid-19th century. The aria In Happy Moments Day by Day is about how precious experiences succumb to the passage of time but are preserved by the power of memory, "Which in the flight of years we trace, / Is dearer than them all." Bloom's version is "Always passing, the stream of life, which in the stream of life we trace is dearer than them all." Although the operatic melody seems to be playing in his head as he comes up with these words, he adds a striking image very much his own.

JH 2022

 Cover of sheet music ca. 1850 for Scenes That are Brightest, a song from Maritana. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 In Happy Moments Day by Day, sung by Eoin Leahy in 2017.

 An 1883 cigar box with a scene from Maritana. Source: Wikimedia Commons.